Clinical features and outcomes of community-acquired late-onset sepsis: Focusing on group B Streptococcus and Escherichia coli

Pediatr Int. 2019 Dec;61(12):1210-1215. doi: 10.1111/ped.14012. Epub 2019 Dec 4.


Background: Group B Streptococcus (GBS) and Escherichia coli are leading causes of late-onset sepsis (LOS) and bacterial meningitis in neonates and infants. This study aimed to describe clinical characteristics and outcomes of community-acquired (CA) LOS caused by GBS and E. coli.

Methods: A retrospective observational study was performed in three university hospitals in Korea. All infants aged <90 days who were diagnosed with GBS or E coli CA-LOS from 2011 to 2017 were enrolled. Data on the clinical characteristics and outcomes of GBS and E. coli CA-LOS were compared.

Results: Forty GBS and 43 E. coli CA-LOS cases were identified, which mostly (82/83) included term or near-term infants. Meningitis was identified in 54.1% of GBS CA-LOS cases and in 30.3% of E. coli CA-LOS cases, and 88.4% of E. coli CA-LOS cases involved urosepsis. Ten percent each of GBS and non-uropathogenic E. coli (non-UPEC) meningitis cases and all uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) meningitis cases were diagnosed by pleocytosis without bacterial growth in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Patients with non-culture-proven meningitis had lower CSF pleocytosis and protein levels and higher CSF/serum glucose ratios than patients with culture-proven meningitis (P < 0.05 for all). One patient died of CA-LOS, which was accompanied by meningitis with extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing non-UPEC. Neurological complications developed in 22.5% of GBS CA-LOS cases and in 2.3% of E. coli CA-LOS cases.

Conclusions: Neurological complications were frequently observed in GBS CA-LOS cases, although no mortality was observed. Escherichia coli CA-LOS generally developed as urosepsis, which caused non-culture-proven meningitis and had a favorable outcome.

Keywords: Escherichia coli; Streptococcus agalactiae; community-acquired infections; meningitis; neonatal sepsis.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Community-Acquired Infections / drug therapy
  • Community-Acquired Infections / epidemiology
  • Community-Acquired Infections / microbiology
  • Escherichia coli / isolation & purification*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / drug therapy
  • Escherichia coli Infections / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Meningitis, Bacterial / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Neonatal Sepsis / drug therapy
  • Neonatal Sepsis / epidemiology
  • Neonatal Sepsis / microbiology*
  • Republic of Korea
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Streptococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Streptococcal Infections / epidemiology*
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / isolation & purification*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / microbiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents